Mark O’Brien
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The impact of television
in The Fourth Estate
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This chapter examines the impact that the arrival of television had on journalism. It argues that Section 18 of the Broadcasting Authority Act had a profound influence on the trajectory of journalism. This section required RTÉ to be ‘fair and impartial’ in its news and current affairs – a very different requirement to that which had previously informed journalism. This inevitably put pressure on other media outlets to distance themselves from their political allegiances and give journalists greater autonomy. The chapter examines how, in a decade of unprecedented social change, this new dynamic in journalism took root and looks at the clashes that erupted between journalists and institutions that had, up to then, had it all their own way.

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The Fourth Estate

Journalism in twentieth-century Ireland


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